02 June 2009

Legislative Failure - Betty Brown Gets It Wrong - Again!

I have not been troubled by self-doubt since my teen years and even then it was damned little. I have always been fairly comfortable with my convictions and base them on common sense, a blue-collar background and perspective, and extensive readings. But, today I shake my head in dismay, and wonder a bit if maybe I might just be wrong about certain things.

Here is what has brought me to this point. Awhile back I wrote about Texas Senate Bill 1569 relating to the $500-plus million that was to be part of our state stimulus money and that our dunce-cap wearing, fool-of-the-world governor, Rick Perry, so blithely declined. A bipartisan majority of the state senators said, in effect, “Hold on bozo, that money is needed, and if we do not take it now, we’re going to have a one-billion dollar unemployment fund shortfall come October and we’ll have to hike the tax on businesses to recover it”.

I went on to suggest that were that to come to pass, we are all of us going to pay higher prices for goods and services as those businesses act to recoup those higher tax outlays. I also scribbled some words about my conviction that in tough times it was the right thing to do in order to look out for our working families. You see, that is a conviction of mine, we join together in order to look out for each other.

It seems that the legislature does not share my conviction since they never brought the bill to a vote, effectively letting it languish to death while never putting themselves on the record as being for or against working families. This despite my exhortation that we all needed to contact our representatives and ask them to support the bill.

I did that myself, and got a reply from my state representative, Betty Brown. Now I’ll put aside the fact that Ms. Brown seems dumber than a tote sack full of Brazos River sand and suggest that despite that intellectual shortfall she might have some empathy for the state’s working families. Her reply to me reinforced the first part of my assessment of her and belied my hope that she might demonstrate some empathy.

Here, in part, is some of the drivel she dared to send me: “...Texans prefer a paycheck over an unemployment check, we cannot abandon the proven practices of limited government and fiscal conservatism that, blah, blah, yammer, yammer”. She claims Texas and its “pro-business” environment is at “the forefront of the national economy”.

The facts are otherwise Ms. Brown! Several years ago the state was indeed at the forefront but under your and Perry’s “fiscal conservative” stewardship we are projected to slip to tenth this year, with a downward spiral that will have us spinning in the drain for years to come. And, while we were at the economic “forefront”, our public education system was ranked only 25th among the states. I guess we could take comfort that our economic dead zone and equally fiscally conservative neighbors of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi fared worse.

And just another fact or two, Ms. Brown: The state’s median income and “real” minimum wage do not rank at the forefront either. All of which proves my point about your being dumber than a... Oh well, you can always retrain, but you can never display honesty and conviction and support for the people on whose back our state’s "pro-business, fiscally conservative" economy rides until you cast off your tired, failed ideology of conservatism.

I’m glad I could have this brief conversation, I feel better. The self-doubt is gone. I was right and my convictions are intact.

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